How to Build a Price Monitoring Dashboard without Coding

Gathering insights from raw data is a difficult task, especially when you have a dataset with thousands of records from multiple sources. Data visualization helps you make sense of data gathered using web scraping. A good visualization can help highlight trends and outliers, removing the noise from the data and highlighting the useful information. Small businesses who cannot spend a lot of resources on buying a price monitoring solution can build a simple price monitoring dashboard themselves by visualizing scraped product data, at a much lower price.

Build Price Monitoring Dashboard using Scraped Data

In this article, we will walk you through how to create your own price monitoring dashboard using visualization tools such as Microsoft PowerBI, Tableau, and Google Data Studio.

Price Monitoring helps you know how your competitor price their products and how your prices fit within the industry. When it comes to price monitoring it’s important to ensure accuracy, have knowledge about updated prices and availability. You can scrape prices from e-commerce websites like Amazon, Walmart, and Target using the cloud platform ScrapeHero Cloud to compare how these eCommerce platforms are selling their products.

Gathering Product Data

For this tutorial, we used the ScrapeHero Cloud platform (it runs online with nothing to install or code and it is FREE to use) to extract the product data of AAA Batteries that were available on Amazon, Walmart, and Target. The three crawlers in ScrapeHero Cloud used were the – Amazon Search Results Scraper, Target Search Scraper, and the Walmart Search Result Scraper.

The ScrapeHero Cloud has pre-built scrapers that in addition to scraping search engine data, can Scrape Job data, Scrape Real Estate Data, Scrape Social Media, and more. These scrapers are easy to use and cloud-based, where you need not worry about selecting the fields to be scraped nor download any software. The scraper and the data can be accessed from any browser at any time and the data can be delivered directly to Dropbox.

Here are the steps to gather product data

  1. Create a ScrapeHero Cloud account and select the crawlers
  2. Input the search URLs
  3. Run the Amazon, Target, and Walmart scraper and download the data (CSV, JSON, XML).

Create a ScrapeHero account

First, we will create an account in ScrapeHero Marketplace. To sign up go to the link – https://cloud.scrapehero.com/accounts/login/ and create an account with your email address.

Input the search URLs

Select the type of input you wish to provide. It can be a search keyword or URL. For these crawlers, a search URL was given.

Here are the URLs that were taken for each scraper:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/b?node=389578011&ref=nb_sb_noss

Walmart: https://www.walmart.com/browse/household-essentials/batteries/1115193_1076905?cat_id=1115193_1076905_6635703

Target: https://www.target.com/c/batteries-household-essentials/-/N-5xsyzZ71cfu?type=products

Run the Crawler

The crawler page will open up and you will see the option to gather the data. Once you have clicked it the scraper will start to run. After the scrape is complete the ‘Status’ of the crawler will change from ‘Started’ to ‘Finished’. Click on ‘View Data’ to view the scraped product data.

Download the Data

You can see all the data scraped on this page. To download the scraped data click on ‘Download Data’. A drop down to select a data format will appear. You can choose between CSV, JSON, and XML formats. After clicking on the data format option, a file will soon be downloaded with all the scraped product data. You can get data delivered to Dropbox if you integrate the crawler account to your Dropbox account. You also have the option to schedule the data if you want to extract product data on a timely basis.

Now let’s move on to visualizing the data. 

Visualize Web Scraped Data using Microsoft PowerBI

Microsoft Power BI is a cloud-based solution, enabling users to analyze and visualize data with greater speed and efficiency. It works with content packs, and pre-built dashboards, which makes up for new easier ways of collecting data. Power BI is a perfect platform for eCommerce businesses that either start out with analytics or are ready to switch to advanced BI tools.

With the data collected we compared the products from Amazon, Walmart, and Target and created an eCommerce pricing dashboard. 

Understanding the Requirements

From the data, we have a list of measures and metrics such as product name, price, seller, availability, rating, reviews, and more. After collecting the data we can import the files into the PowerBI platform. This will automatically create a dataset. When you create visualizations in reports and dashboards, you’re often looking at data in the dataset.

To import the data open the PowerBI desktop and click on ‘Get Data’. You will see the possible file formats you can import your data file as.

import-data-to-powerbi-desktop

Developing Insights on PowerBI

Below are some of the insights that can be created to build a price monitoring dashboard:

  • Number of Brands vs Website
  • Brands vs Number of Products
  • Brands vs Total Customer Reviews
  • Brands vs Average Rating
  • Pricing Histogram

Build a Price Monitoring Dashboard on PowerBI

Once the necessary calculated columns and measures are developed, the next step is to create charts and dashboards to deliver key insights. Power BI provides visualizations that can help deliver these insights. 

There are many different ways to build price monitoring dashboard. For example, you can create a dashboard from scratch, a report, or a dataset. To create a simple chart you can go to the PowerBI workspace and select a particular visualization. Then you can drag and drop the measure and values onto the axis to create a chart. The image below shows the number of products available by each brand under ‘Batteries’ in Amazon visualized as a bar chart.

creating-reports-in-powerbi

Using the eCommerce data on batteries, we built price monitoring dashboards for each website. For each website, you can view the data based on a particular day. Here we have visualized the brands, product counts, and the overall reviews each day.  To see how the prices fared, a price histogram was also created.

E-commerce Price Dashboard

The dashboards below can monitor the brands available for sale, prices, and reviews on a particular date.

amazon-price-monitoring-dashboard

 

walmart-price-monitoring-dashboard-powerbi

 

target-price-monitoring-dashboard-using-powerbi

 

If you have your own Microsoft account you can create an embed and publish it to the web, as you can see in this fast food chains in US analysis post.

Visualizing Scraped Data Using Tableau

Tableau is one of the top enterprise data visualization tools. Tableau has a lot of flexibility with data when it comes to creating graphical representations. It also a great option for those who want to create maps in addition to other types of charts.

You can download the free Tableau Public app or buy the paid version. Once you have installed the tool you can import your data files. Click on File->New Data Source and select the type of file you will be importing.

import-data-file-to-tableau-desktop

Then you can move on to creating charts in a worksheet.

After that, add the measures and attributes needed to create the visualizations. Here is what a worksheet looks like:

data-visualization-using-tableau

After creating all the worksheets, the visualizations can be combined to build price monitoring dashboards such as the images one below:

visualize-amazon-product-data-using-tableau

 

visualize-ecommerce-walmart-data-with-tableau

 

ecommerce-data-visualization-using-tableau

Here are examples of pricing histograms to see price trends among e-commerce platforms:

price-ranges-for-batteries-amongst-retail-platforms

Visualizing Scraped Data Using Google Data Studio

Google Data Studio is a free visualization tool. The Google Data Studio can sync all your data sources into a single report. A majority of Data Studios features are easy to use, share and schedule. The Data Studio is similar to Google Analytics but is limited to certain features.

To get started, you must have an existing Google account and sign in to Google Studio. On the home page, you will find the reports and the data sources tool. Reports let you create interactive data visualizations and data sources connect to the underlying data like – Google Sheets, AdWords, Analytics, etc.

To create a report click on ‘Blank Report’.

create-report-in-google-data-studio

Then click on ‘Add Data’ to connect to your data sources.

connect-data-sources-to-google-data-studio

 

After adding the data, we can start creating a data report. You can click on ‘Add a chart’ to select the visualization needed.

add-visualization-google-data-studio

Here is how we can monitor brands under Amazon, Walmart, and Target:

google-data-studio-brand-monitoring

google-data-studio-total-products-by-brand

Get Price Monitoring Data using ScrapeHero

There are dozens of tools for data visualization and data analysis that range from simple to complex. A good visualization theory and skills will transcend specific tools and products. Product price tracking, product matching, and competitor analysis can all be achieved by gathering e-commerce data. ScrapeHero Cloud ensures that you receive updated data in order to power your price monitoring solution.

There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to scraping. If web scraping tools are not able to provide you the data you need, custom web scraping services provides the ability to create a solution based on specific requirements such as scraping multiple websites regularly for millions of data points. ScrapeHero can help you provide a custom solution for your requirement.

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